Government support for Queensland businesses will give a boost to those affected organisations during COVID-19

Government Support Measures for Queensland and Australian Businesses

Many businesses across the country are fighting for survival under the economic strain of COVID-19. In response, the Federal and State Governments have enacted support measures to help businesses. The following funding options may be relevant to you and your business:

Jobs and Regional Growth Fund

This fund has been created to assist businesses to grow and expand throughout regional Queensland. The fund provides one-off financial assistance from $100,000 and over, by way of grants or payroll tax rebates. In exceptional circumstances, consideration may be given to relief of other State charges.

Eligible businesses:

·       Are an incorporated entity recognised under Commonwealth law.

·       Have or are eligible to register for GST and an Australian Business Number (ABN)

·       Satisfy probity, due diligence and economic assessment requirements

Eligible projects are those:

·       Catalytic in nature, supporting new long-term operational jobs and economic growth in regional Queensland; and/or

·       Are located in regions experiencing economic and employment challenges

Eligible costs include:

·       Financial assistance associated with capital expenditure, which in most circumstances is defined as the cost of acquiring certain fixed assets, such as equipment, and would normally cover expenses like site preparation, construction materials and external labour costs

·       In some cases, consideration will also be given to the cost of training where it relates to upskilling of employees to support the implementation of new advanced technology

·       Reimbursement of payroll tax paid in Queensland for eligible employees

How to apply:

Contact the DSDMIP team for a preliminary discussion of your project. Following this discussion, should you wish to apply, you will be emailed an expression of interest (EOI). Email investment@dsdmip.qld.gov.au or call 1300 785 106.

Complete and return the EOI. The EOI will provide an opportunity to demonstrate your eligibility, the eligibility of the project and, to provide an initial indication of how closely your application aligns to the assessment criteria.

Key documentation you will need to provide to support the EOI at this stage will include a project budget and outline. A departmental client manager will be available to support you through the application process.

For more information:

https://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/industry/industry-support/jobs-and-regional-growth-fund.html

 

Rural Economic Development Grants

This grant is closed for Round 2, Round 3 will open in July 2020.

Grants will fund projects which generate economic and employment opportunities related to primary production across rural and remote Queensland.

Grants are available up to a maximum of $250,000 with a 50 per cent cash contribution requirement from applicants.

Eligible projects must be primary production related, generate jobs, provide value for money and significant economic benefit to a rural area. As an example, this may include projects which:

  • Implement new technologies and innovations that enhance productivity, including those which improve internet connectivity, e.g. agri-tech products such as robotics or mobile apps
  • Add value to agricultural products, including developing new markets for value-added products
  • Promote business development and expansion through provision of technical assistance, training and other activities
  • Assist businesses to achieve economies of scale by implementing collaborative business structures
  • Assist businesses to become investment and export ready
  • Improve energy usage efficiencies, including transitioning to renewable energy sources

How to apply

Applicants will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form. Successful EOI participants will then be invited to submit an application for the grant.

For more information:

http://www.qrida.qld.gov.au/current-programs/rural-economic-development-grants

 

Federal Government Support

The Federal Government is providing the following support measures:

 

Boosting cashflow for businesses

FY 2020: $10,000 to $50,000 tax free payment

  • Businesses with less than $50m turnover
  • Active ABN number on 12th March 2020
  • 100% PAYG withholding tax for period January – June 2020 (for monthly lodger, the payment will be calculated at three times the rate (300 per cent) in the March 2020 activity statement)

FY 2021: $10,000 to $50,000 tax free payment

  • Businesses with less than $50m turnover
  • Same test as per FY 2020
  • An additional payment is also being introduced in the July – October 2020 period. Eligible businesses will receive an additional payment equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments they have received.

Eligible businesses will receive at least $20,000 and up to a total of $100,000 under both payments. This provides cash flow support over a longer period, helping employers to retain staff and keep businesses operating.

50% subsidy apprentice wages

  • Wage subsidy of 50% of apprenticeship/trainee wages for up to 9 months (January – September 2020)
  • Maximum $21k per apprentice/ trainee
  • Available for SME’s employing fewer than 20 employees
  • Can register from 2nd April 2020
  • Final claim needs to be lodged by 31st December 2020

Tax payment deferral – ATO

  • Quarterly reporters can opt in for monthly to get quicker access to GST refund
  • Defer BAS tax payable, subject to discussion with ATO about your business’s situation
  • Ability to remit interest and penalties incurred on or after 23rd January, subject to discussion with ATO about your business’s situation

Instant Asset Write-off

  • Businesses with less than $500m turnover
  • Immediately write off the cost of each asset that costs less than $150,000
  • Claim a tax deduction for the business portion of the purchase cost in the year the asset is first used, or installed ready for use (applies for period 12th March to 30th June 2020)
  • Asset must be installed and ready for use by 30th June 2020

Accelerated Depreciation

  • Businesses with less than $500m turnover
  • 50% reduction of the cost
  • Existing depreciation rules apply to the balance
  • Eligible assets are acquired after 12th March 2020 and first used or installed by 30th June 2021

Government Backed Loans

  • Businesses with less than $50m turnover
  • 50% guarantee on new loans for SME’s up to $250,000
  • Loans will be up to three years, with an initial six-month repayment holiday
  • Financial institutions will be providing the products
  • Loans must be approved by 30th September 2020 in order to be covered by the guarantee 

Job Keeper Payment

  • Businesses with turnover less than $1b and turnover reduced more than 30% relative to a comparable period one year ago
  • Businesses with turnover more than $1b and turnover reduced more than 50% relative to a comparable period one year ago
  • Not subject to Major Bank Levy
  • Eligible businesses can claim $1,500 before tax/fortnight per active employee as at 1st March 2020 (full-time, part-time, and casuals that works in business for more than 12 months)
  • Employers must continue to pay the superannuation guarantee on regular wages, but it is up to employer whether they pay superannuation on additional job keeper payments

 

Queensland State Government Support

The Queensland State Government is providing the following support measures:

 

Queensland Payroll Tax

  • Businesses with less than $6.5m wages will receive refund of Payroll Tax for 2 months and receive payroll tax holiday for 3 months
  • Business with more than $6.5m wages will receive refund of Payroll Tax for 2 months and be able to defer Payroll Tax for FY2020

Queensland Interest Free Loans

  • Businesses can borrow up to $250,000 with no repayments or interest charged for first year, plus 2-year interest only, 2.50% fixed interest rate, 10-year term loan
  • Businesses need to apply by 25th September, or until funding is fully committed

Electricity Bill Relief

  • Sole traders, small and medium businesses will get a $500 rebate on their power bill
  • Businesses consuming less than 100,000 kilowatt hours will be eligible
  • Automatically applied on business electricity bills

 

We sincerely hope your business is coping through this difficult time. If any of the above information is unclear, please visit the Federal or Queensland State Government Website. For any steel supply needs, get in contact with our team.

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